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Ranking Every USA Olympic Men’s Basketball Team


The 2016 United States Olympic Men’s Basketball Team is expected to soar to the gold medal in Rio. Even without LeBron James, Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook and a handful of other NBA All-Stars who declined an invite, Team USA is by far the best team in the tournament. But where does this Olympic team stack up with previous Team USA squads?

Here’s a rankings rundown of the 17 USA men’s basketball teams in Olympic history:

Gold Standards

The USA has claimed the gold medal in 14 of the 17 Olympics in which Americans have competed.

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1. 1992 Barcelona

With 11 future Hall of Famers and one college legend, the original “Dream Team” changed the global landscape of basketball.

“It was like Elvis and the Beatles put together,” coach Chuck Daly said. “Traveling with the Dream Team was like traveling with 12 rock stars.”

Until further notice, the first team of NBA players remains the best.

Record: 8–0

USA ppg: 117.3

OPP. ppg: 73.5

Avg. Margin: 43.8 ppg

Gold Medal Game: Croatia (117–85)

Coach: Chuck Daly, Detroit Pistons

Player, Pos. (Stats):

Michael Jordan, G (14.9 ppg, 4.5 apg, 4.6 spg)

Charles Barkley, F (18.0 ppg, 71.1 FG%)

Karl Malone, F (13.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg)

Scottie Pippen, F (9.0 ppg, 5.9 apg, 2.9 spg)

Patrick Ewing, C (9.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.9 bpg)

Magic Johnson, G (8.0 ppg, 4.1 apg)

Larry Bird, F

David Robinson, C

Chris Mullin, F

Clyde Drexler, G

John Stockton, G

Christian Laettner, F

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2. 2008 Beijing

The “Redeem Team” had arguably the most athletic roster in Olympic history — with a young LeBron, D-Wade, Dwight and Melo, and a young-er Kobe.

Record: 8–0

USA ppg: 106.2

OPP. ppg: 78.4

Avg. Margin: 27.8 ppg

Gold Medal Game: Spain (118–107)

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University

Player, Pos. (Stats):

LeBron James, F (15.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.8 apg)

Dwyane Wade, G (16.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.25 spg)

Kobe Bryant, G (15.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg)

Dwight Howard, C (10.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg)

Carmelo Anthony, F (11.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

Chris Bosh, F (9.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg)

Chris Paul, G (8.0 ppg, 4.1 apg, 3.6 rpg)

Jason Kidd, G

Deron Williams, G

Tayshaun Prince, F

Carlos Boozer, F

Michael Redd

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3. 1996 Atlanta

It would be hard for any Team USA to deal with the size of this host nation roster — which included David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and Karl Malone.

Record: 8–0

USA ppg: 102.0

OPP. ppg: 70.3

Avg. Margin: 31.7 ppg

Gold Medal Game: Yugoslavia (95–69)

Coach: Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta Hawks

Player, Pos. (Stats):

Charles Barkley, F (12.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 81.6 FG%)

David Robinson, C (12.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg)

Scottie Pippen, F (11.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.3 apg)

Reggie Miller, G (11.4 ppg, 17-of-41 from 3)

Shaquille O’Neal, C (9.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg)

Penny Hardaway, G (9.0 ppg, 4.4 apg)

Karl Malone, F (8.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg)

Grant Hill, F (9.7 ppg)

Gary Payton, G

John Stockton, G

Hakeem Olajuwon, C

Mitch Richmond, G

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4. 2012 London

LeBron joined Jordan as the only players to win MVP, Finals MVP, an NBA championship and Olympic gold medal in the same year. But it was Kobe who came through in the clutch, as Team USA outlasted the Gasol Brothers and Spain in the second-closest gold medal game in the team’s history.

Record: 8–0

USA ppg: 115.5

OPP. ppg: 83. 4

Avg. Margin: 32.1 ppg

Gold Medal Game: Spain (107–100)

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University

Player, Pos. (Stats):

LeBron James, F (13.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 5.6 apg)

Kevin Durant, F (19.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 34-of-65 from 3)

Carmelo Anthony, F (16.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg)

Kobe Bryant, G (12.1 ppg)

Chris Paul, G (8.3 ppg, 5.1 apg)

Kevin Love, F/C (11.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg)

Deron Williams, G

Russell Westbrook, G

James Harden, G

Andre Iguodala, G/F

Tyson Chandler, C

Anthony Davis, F/C

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5. 1984 Los Angeles

Three future Dream Teamers (M.J., Ewing, Mullin), plenty of NBA-ready size (Tisdale, Perkins) and solid guard play (Roberton, Alford, Flemming) makes Robert Montgomery Knight’s squad the top Olympic college roster of all-time.

Record: 8–0

USA ppg: 95.4

OPP. ppg: 63.3

Avg. Margin: 32.1 ppg

Gold Medal Game: Spain (96–65)

Coach: Bob Knight, Indiana University

Player, Pos. (Stats):

Michael Jordan, G (17.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)

Patrick Ewing, C (11.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.3 bpg)

Chris Mullin, F (11.6 ppg, 3.0 apg, 2.5 rpg)

Wayman Tisdale, F (8.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg)

Sam Perkins, F (8.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg)

Alvin Robertson, G (7.8 ppg, 2.1 spg)

Steve Alford, G (10.3 ppg)

Vern Flemming, G

Leon Wood, G

Joe Kleine, F